Breeds 101: Meet the Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Boston Terrier (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Boston Terrier is a highly recognizable dog breed.

The Boston Terrier is a highly recognizable and fairly popular canine, which makes them a good candidate for the next focus in our Breeds 101 series of dog breed introductions.

Boston Terriers have ranked No. 21 in the American Kennel Club’s most popular dogs ranking last year, and they’re part of the Non-Sporting Group.

The Boston Terrier stands around 15 to 17 inches at the withers (shoulders) and weigh anywhere from 12 to 25 pounds.

They live an average lifespan of 11 to 13 years, which is pretty much right in the middle of the spectrum of dogdom.

According to the AKC Breed Standard, the ideal Boston Terrier “is a lively, highly intelligent, smooth coated, shortheaded, compactly built, short-tailed, well balanced dog, brindle, seal or black in color and evenly marked with white. The head is in proportion to the size of the dog and the expression indicates a high degree of intelligence.”

That pretty much sums up everything about the breed, honestly. Their coat is short and comes in an array of colors.

According to the Boston Terrier Club of America, the breed was developed by a Massachusetts man named Robert Hooper, who conveniently lived in Boston and owned a dog named Judge. Judge was probably mostly English Bulldog, and he was bred to a female named Gyp. Their son Eph was bred to Kate, and all other Boston Terriers were descended from them.

By 1891, the Boston Terrier Club of America had been formed, and then two years later the breed was recognized by the AKC.

As a brachycephalic (smash-faced) breed, they can have breathing and overheating issues due to short nasal passages, and their gigantic eyes can cause health issues sometimes as well.

Though couch potatoes sometimes, they are also surprisingly athletic, sometimes competing in agility and dock diving competitions.

Next. The top 10 guard dogs: German Shepherds...and who else?. dark

Among pop culture’s Boston Terriers, several were First Dogs owned by President Gerald Ford, and Helen Keller owned one named Phiz. In the college sports world, both Boston University and South Carolina’s Wofford College use the Boston Terrier as their mascot.